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Richest standardbred horse Foiled Again to run at Mohawk Racetrack

Foiled Again will forever be a special horse to Canadian Yannick Gingras. The 14-year-old gelding is the richest standardbred of all-time at $7.6 million earned with 108 wins over 329 career starts.

Foiled Again will forever be a special horse to Canadian Yannick Gingras.

The 14-year-old gelding is the richest standardbred of all-time at $7.6 million earned with 108 wins over 329 career starts. And Gingras has played a major role in Foiled Again's success, driving the under-sized horse to 64 of those victories.

That includes the $787,000 Canadian Pacing Derby in 2012 — Foiled Again's richest win. There was also a world-record run of 1:48.0 the following year in taking a $50,000 elimination division race for the Ben Franklin Free-For-All Pace at Pocono Downs.

On Saturday, Foiled Again will run at Woodbine Mohawk Park in his final race on Canadian soil. Gingras won't be in the sulky for that one — Louis Philippe Roy of Mont-Joli, Que., Mohawk's leading driver, is expected to do the honours — but Gingras, a native of Sorel, Que., will drive Foiled Again on Dec, 31 when the horse makes his final career start at The Meadows in Pittsburgh.

"Foiled Again's career and mine took off at the same time and I can't help but think he was a huge part in taking me to the next level as a catch driver," said Gingras, who was American harness racing's top driver in 2014. "His longevity, toughness, will to win and forgiveness of a tough trip is what made him so special.

"He wasn't the fastest horse I've ever driven, but he will for sure be the toughest, gamest horse I'll ever drive."

That's a big reason why Foiled Again has become such a fan favourite. And with harness racing rules not allowing horses to race after the age of 14, Foiled Again's connections have taken him on a North American farewell tour so spectators can see him run one last time.

By racing rules, Foiled Again will turn 15 on Jan. 1, 2019. Mohawk is the tour's second-last stop.

Trainer Ron Burke is bringing him Foiled Again to the winner's circle for fans before races. The horse was also scheduled to appear at London's Western Fair Raceway on Friday and lead a post parade.

"I'll be forever thankful for him and what he has done for my family, but also to the sport in general," Gingras said. "He was a breath of fresh air and the 'people's horse' in a sport that (needs) more feel-good stories like Foiled Again's.

"A true champion I'll miss but never forget."

Burke said Foiled Again is a once-in-a-lifetime horse. After all, Foiled Again earned his 100th career win July 8 at Harrah's Philadelphia.

"I give the horse all the credit in the world," he said. "I don't know if we'll ever see another horse like him that still, at 14, could race at the top levels."

Added co-owner Mark Weaver: "He's everything for us. We all owe him a lot. He's a special horse."

Foiled Again was purchased for US$20,000 at the Harrisburg yearling sale and started racing for owner Patrick Lacey and trainer Hermann Heitmann. The horse won his career debut Oct. 12, 2006 at Freehold Raceway and emerged victorious eight times over his first 46 starts before being sold privately for $62,500 to current owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi (Mark Weaver and Michael Bruscemi) and JJK Stables (Joe and Kevin Koury).

Foiled Again made his racing debut for his new owners July 13, 2008 at Harrah’s Chester. Through all the victories Gingras and Foiled Again have recorded, two especially stand out to the veteran driver: the TVG Free For All pace final at the Meadowlands and Breeders Crown open face final at Pocono, both in 2013.

The Breeders Crown win came in Foiled Again's fourth try following two second-place finishes and a third. And the TVG victory came against a quality field that included Captaintreacherous, Pet Rock and Sweet Lou.

"He was the old guy against a bunch of much younger horses trying to take his spot," Gingras said. "But again Foiled Again refused to lose and took it to all of them.

"His Breeders Crown win that year to me is my favourite and is the perfect race to describe Foiled Again as he was so game that night and fought horses coming from everywhere. But the TVG is a very close second and it’s a race I’ll never forget."

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

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